12 ways to document your new hardware concept

12 ways to effectively document your new hardware business concept / idea without needing an engineer. TLDR: Take photos of the problem / sketch out the use case.  Pictures are worth 1000 words. Write down a basic description of how you believe your hardware concept solves the problem(s) at hand. Who cares?  List at least 3x different types of people who you believe would want this solution.  Write down 3x different types of people who you believe would pay for this solution.  See the difference there? Materials? List the top 5 materials you think the hardware product should be made from. Other tech?  Are there any other features which are not simply passive materials that are required for your concept to function properly?  Electrical engineered circuits?  Software interactivity? Patent worthy? Try to identify at least 10+ aspects / features of your concept that are new, useful and non-obvious. Patent ready?  Review your work and then write down 10+ steps on

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Online Additive Manufacturing with MIT, edX and You3Dit

When someone is asked, “who has the best undergraduate engineering program? Graduate engineering program?”, 99 times out of 100 that person will respond: MIT or Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  So when they say, “would you like to help us co-teach a program this summer at MIT” the answer is just as obvious…you say “yes”! Kicking off You3Dit’s work with MIT started with our content development and course facilitation for their online edX course called: “Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production“.  This is “An 11-week course on the fundamentals, applications, and implications of 3D printing for design and manufacturing” and as Chris puts it, “this is the most comprehensive course on Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) that I’ve ever seen…”  Professor A. John Hart and his rockstar team of course developers and facilitators helped over 1000 online learners take their knowledge of Additive Manufacturing to the next level. If you were ever wishing there was a comprehensive, online course on Additive

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TechShop Bankrupt, Maker Community mourns by taking action

It’s taken us some time to process the magnitude and impact of the recent news that TechShop declared chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Many of the fabricators in our network leveraged the tools provided by the TechShop to conduct much of our clients’s fabrication work.  Those users productivity all has since stopped, delayed expected delivery dates for project work and has pushed that fabrication demand originally supplied by TechShop members onto our You3Dit independent laser, CNC machine and 3D Printer owner / operators.   We’ve scrambled a bit internally to reroute the fabrication of several jobs and are back on track for the short term  (HUGE THANKS to our You3Dit fabricators who stepped up).  We want to help others do the same. However as of this writing, TechShop is still bankrupt, closed an leaving many people stranded who need help with getting access to machines.  We have to figure out what we’re going to do next to solve the long-term issues created by

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In order to 3D print, you need a 3D Design file…we’re here to help you!

We often get requests to “3D print” something, an image or sketch or what have you where the client asks this simply to be “fabricated”.  In our simple 3 step process: Client submits a new project New project is 3D Designed (client is provided the 3D Design files, e.g. *.STL) Project is Fabricated (e.g. 3D Printed) This request effectively translates into “please start at step #1, skip step #2, and then proceed to step #3.” As of this writing, there is no automated process that we’re familiar with that can automate step #2 and thus, it requires some human involvement to transform the client request into the 3D CAD Design file that is needed to “3D Print” or fabricate in any number of digital fabrication methods.  We are actively pursuing research to support our Design Acquisition System (DAS) but it’s not ready for prime time…yet.  But do not worry, there is still hope for your project! Our 3D Design network is

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How to best get ready to submit a new project on You3Dit Beta

It’s not always obvious to our makers what they need to know in order to get started on a new project.  Our You3Dit Beta “Create Project” is pretty intuitive and will guide you on what to submit. Here’s the MUST HAVE, SHOULD HAVE and NICE-TO-HAVE items that improve the likelihood of your idea coming to life with You3Dit.  We’ll explain why as we walk you through the process. If you’re in a hurry, get the must-haves included in your project and you can fill in the details later once you’ve chosen a 3D Designer / Fabricator…but it’s typically better for everyone involved to get these details included in the process as early as possible…especially for you and your wallet.

Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Maker (Part 2 of 2)

Why read this article? Because if you are who we think you are, investing 10 minutes of your precious time now to read this article will save you a lot of time in the future as you bring your idea to life. This is a two-part article which will walk you through five essential parts of the You3Dit Process: Who is a Maker in the You3Dit Network? (Part 1) How much does it cost (Part 1) Creating a Project (Part 1) Getting your idea designed in 3D (Part 2) Getting your new 3D Design fabricated (Part 2) Part 2: The Design and Fabrication Processes In this article we’ll cover the important topics of: Reviewing Design Quotes Choosing Designers Iterating Reviewing Fabrication Quotes Choosing Fabricators The “First Fab” and Getting your Parts Delivered Designer & Fabricator Ratings

Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Maker (Part 1 of 2)

Why read this article? Because if you are who we think you are, investing 10 minutes of your precious time now to read this article will save you a lot of time in the future as you bring your idea to life. This is a two-part article which will walk you through five essential parts of the You3Dit Process: Who is a “Maker” in the You3Dit network? (Part 1) How much does it cost (Part 1) Creating a Project (Part 1) Getting your idea designed in 3D (Part 2) Getting your new 3D Design fabricated (Part 2) But first…

Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Designer

Now that you’ve registered as a Designer on our brand-new, fully-functional Beta Platform, here are some key steps you can take to become a Master: Completing your You3Dit profile Submitting compelling Design Quotes Mastering Design Iterations Designing with digital manufacturing in mind Being proactive and “wowing” the client Designers who take these steps get more gigs, improve their design skills more quickly and in general, earn more money from You3Dit.  We’re also highlighting current BETA WORKAROUNDS that you can use to be more successful while the platform is “under construction”.

Autodesk TechWomen 2016

Last Friday, September 16th, we had the privilege to meet and share our passion for 3D printing with approximately 100x TechWomen leaders in the Autodesk Gallery at One Market Place in San Francisco. The TechWomen program is organized by the Institute of International Education (IIE)–the same governmental group that is responsible for the Fulbright Scholarship and other programs that embrace their mission “to advance international education and access to education worldwide.” Each year Autodesk hosts these women for an entire day and provides mentorship along with exposure to design, leadership and product-oriented workshops.  Autodesk is one of their first stops during their 6 week Silicon Valley trip and these women spend the entire day learning about topics like leadership to product design. You3Dit for the second year has participated with Autodesk and works with their top-employees to help facilitate these workshops–illustrating the power and capability of 3D printing to transform manufacturing with a talk co-founder & CEO Chris McCoy gives entitled “iManufacture” (Download the PDF of the iManufacture talk from TechWomen

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And we’re off…SFmototype has begun!

What did you do last Saturday?  We kicked off the first of it’s kind, 3D Design and Prototyping challenge for motorcyclists, enthusiasts and pretty much anyone who can sketch their motorcycle ideas on paper. BuildTak–a 3D printer build platform manufacturer and SFmototype Sponsor–made these beautiful custom 3D printing surfaces for our Type A Machines Series 1 Pros and Printrbot Simple Metals that are on display at SF Moto (275 8th Street, San Francisco, 10a-6pm) Last Saturday, September 10th, we had the official kickoff of our first ever SFmototype Design and Prototyping challenge–where for 45 days, err, 40 days now–people have the opportunity to sketch out on paper, napkin, envelope, whatever…a concept related to motorcycles and submit it to our SFmototype competition.  If their concept considered to be the best by a panel of expert judges, they can win a number of prizes: A motorcycle 3D printers CAD training Shop Training and much much more… We had an amazing set of panelists

read more And we’re off…SFmototype has begun!